2018 Season Set for Take Off at Donington
The new-look F3 Cup Championship arrives at the similarly refreshed Donington Park this weekend (21/22 April)
The new-look F3 Cup Championship arrives at the similarly refreshed Donington Park this weekend, with the now traditional triple-header event kicking off the 2018 season.
Over the winter F3 Cup has been comprehensively updated, with a fresh new website, Instagram account and even a new logo hinting at a bright future. It remains the UK’s only championship catering exclusively for close to contemporary (pre-2017) Formula 3 cars and offers one of the best calendars in club racing.
Formula 3 is rightly regarded as the proving ground for aspiring drivers, with an extensive roster of Formula 1 world champions who can claim success in the category. While F3 Cup may not run the very latest machinery, the fastest Cup Class cars are close to current FIA Formula 3 specification, and are technical, but very rewarding, cars to drive. As a bonus, budgets to run in the championship are a fraction of those required for comparable national and international championships.
A host of familiar faces line up alongside some new names this weekend. The reigning champion, Jacopo Sebastiani returns to defend his title, and will be aiming to become the first driver to win back-to-back F3 Cup titles. After a stunning year, hopes will be riding high in the #1 car.
Sebastiani is joined at CF Racing (the current Teams’ Champion) by fellow returnees Stuart Wiltshire, George Line and Tony Bishop. Wiltshire, a firm fans’ favourite, will be entirely focused on deposing the champion of his crown – their fierce rivalry and friendship often resulting in comedy moments on the podium. Line, the 2016 Champion, will be hoping for a better year after being plagued by reliability issues last season. His pace was never in doubt, so he will certainly be one to watch. Bishop is one of the championship’s longest members and is a firm fixture in the top ten.
Chris Dittmann Racing also brings some familiar faces to the grid this weekend, with Philip Jeans in his F312 Mercedes alongside Irishman Cian Carey. Carey claimed his maiden victory right at the end of last year so will be keen to carry that momentum into the new season. Patrick Jeans is a newcomer to the championship, running a similarly quick F312 so keep an eye out for some father-son rivalry on track!
The University of Wolverhampton Race Team are back in force, with pro driver Shane Kelly at the wheel of their F308 Mugen Honda. The student-run team has taken Kelly to two Vice Champion titles in F3 Cup and will be a squarely aimed at that elusive overall win this year. Moreover, Kelly has twice picked up a hat-trick of wins at Donington and will be determined to keep that record intact.
Stanbridge Motorsport makes its return to the championship after a long absence, team boss James Simons lining up in his F305 Honda (the sole Trophy Class entry this weekend) and Roberto Tirone in a F308.
We’re pleased to see David Gillett back with his distinctive F308 Volkswagen, and extend a warm welcome to newcomer Stephen Daly who runs with Team Fox this weekend in a F308 Mercedes.
Finally, don’t forget you can keep up with live timing and real-time Twitter updates on the new (mobile-friendly) website at www.f3cup.co.uk/LIVE all weekend. Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate.